pushy sales person

 

 

Many householders, landlords and businesses are thinking about what they can do to save energy.  It’s not always easy to decide where to start.  Unfortunately unscrupulous sales people are taking advantage of this uncertainty to mis-sell energy saving measures.  These are some of the examples I have heard of recently:

  • A solar company offering my client a solar electricity system that was too big for the building.  The building did not use much electricity and would not have used the electricity generated by a solar system that was too big.   The client would not have benefited financially from the proposed system, and the actual greenhouse gas emissions savings would have been significantly less than those claimed by the seller.
  • Replacing a gas boiler with … another gas boiler.   Most gas boilers currently in use are as efficient as gas boilers are ever going to get.  In this instance the proposed new boiler was actually less efficient than the existing boiler.  I did some calculations that showed that the new boiler would make little or no impact on fuel bills.  It would also increase the lifetime greenhouse gas emissions from the house by prolonging the length of time that gas would be used as a heating fuel.  It is also common to mis-sell gas boilers that are too big for the house or business.  It’s the gas industry trying to cling on to a doomed business model.
  • Selling electric batteries to households with low electricity consumption.  The household’s electricity consumption was too low to benefit from battery storage.
  • Offering thermal imaging surveys to schools during the summer holidays.  Thermal imaging is a great way to diagnose heat loss but it is best done on a winter evening.  Thermal imaging during the summer can give misleading results.
  • An energy broker misleading a business by saying that they wouldn’t get a cheaper price elsewhere.  It was only after signing a contract that the business did some shopping around, and found that they could have got a better tariff elsewhere.
  • Poorly-designed insulation that still allows unnecessary heat loss.
  • Windows that aren’t fitted properly, and French doors that increase heat loss, which will show up on a thermal imaging camera.
  • A company selling a householder a report on “Part L of the Building Regulations Compliance” (yes really) when what the householder really needed was impartial advice on where to start with making her home more energy efficient.  The funny thing is that the company concerned were probably capable of giving the householder what she needed.  But they didn’t find out what it was she actually wanted.
  • Householders being sold finance packages for solar panels that led to the household being worse off.

These are all examples of taking advantage of people’s uncertainty to mis-sell energy saving measures.  In all of these examples there were other courses of action available that would have given lower fuel bills and more greenhouse gas emissions.  As there is rising concern over the climate emergency, energy security, and fuel prices, we can expect to see more mis-selling.  You don’t need to be a genius to work out that there will be a lot of mis-selling of heat pumps (although I am a big fan of heat pumps and I can advise you on  the suitability of a heat pump for your home or business).

If you are thinking of buying energy saving goods or services, my advice is:

  • Get three quotes if you can
  • Ask potential suppliers to back up their claims about fuel bill savings by showing you their methodology
  • Find out about their trading history – beware of companies that set up to take advantage of government funding and then close down when the funding disappears
  • Check out consumer reviews on TrustPilot, Google, etc.
  • Remember – Buyer Beware!

If you need impartial advice on energy saving then please check out my energy saving packages for householders and businesses.  I will show you all the options available to you and help you to choose the right path for you.  Taking action to make your home or business more energy efficient can be quite a stressful process.  My aim is to ease your headaches.  

Energy confidence

woman working at desk

 

Energy confidence

 

Businesses are rightly concerned about rising fuel bills.  I have heard some shocking stories from businesses over the last few weeks.

That’s why I’m relaunching my business energy bill audit service.  If you have one site (with one electricity meter and one gas meter), it’s FREE.  If you have more than one site, then your first site (1 gas meter and one electricity meter) is FREE.  For your second and subsequent sites, or if you have more than one gas or electricity meter on site, there is a charge of £50 per meter.

 

This will be available for a limited period only until 30th April 2022; I will only take on up to two clients during this time.  If you would like to apply, please contact me.

I have many years experience helping clients to understand energy bills and to make sure they are being billed correctly.  My greatest success was when I saved a client more than £30,000 on their fuel bill.  You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What you’ll get:

  • I will check your gas and electricity bills for billing errors
  • If I find any errors, I will get a letter of authority from you to take it up with your energy supplier on your behalf
  • If as a result, there is a reduction or crediting of your fuel bill charges, then we split the income 50/50.  I will invoice you for my share.
  • If I don’t find any errors in your bills, which sometimes happens, then I will tell you straight away, I won’t waste your time and mine on a lost cause.
fuel bill concern

Energy confidence

Are you a landlord who is looking to help their tenants to keep their fuel bills affordable?  Are you concerned that rising fuel costs will make it more difficult for your tenants to afford their rent?   Do you want to avoid the expense of having to deal with condensation related damp?  Read my top tips for rented properties.

 

  •  Boiler temperature.  If your tenant has a combination boiler then the radiator temperature on the boiler should be set no higher than 55 degrees.  Click here to find out why.  
  • Storage heater controls.  In homes with night storage heaters, it’s important to make sure that the controls are set to charge during the night and discharge during the day.  The video at the bottom of this page shows how to set the controls on a night storage heater.
  • Insulating the home is the most effective way to help your tenants keep their homes warm affordably.  In most homes, the greatest heat loss is through the walls, followed by the roof and the floor.  Properly designed insulation, with adequate ventilation, reduces the risk of condensation.
  • LED lighting is a very cost-effective way of keeping running costs down.  Don’t forget fixed lighting in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, stairs, corridors and external lighting.
  • Tariff and payment method.  Tenants often move into a home with no idea of whether they are on the best tariff or payment method.  Especially younger tenants who have no experience of running a household.  Encourage them to ask the energy supplier if they are on the best possible tariff.  If they are able to pay by direct debit then this is always a cheaper payment method than pay-as-you-go.  Modern smart meters can be easily switched from prepayment to credit mode and back again.  Homes with storage heaters should be on Economy 7 tariffs.  Homes without storage heaters should never be on an Economy 7 tariff.
  • Get impartial advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of your homes.  I have a range of home energy advice packages.  If you have more than one home then please contact me for a bespoke quote.  

learn more

 

business gent with wall planner

 

 

 

 If you’re a business with more than 250 employees, you will probably have had an ESOS report done already.  ESOS = Energy Saving Opportunities.

What have you done about your ESOS report?  Many businesses don’t do anything .  This is a waste of the perfectly good money they paid for the ESOS report, and a wasted opportunity to make their business more profitable through the reputational and economic benefits of good environmental management.  

There’s nothing wrong with ESOS reports.  The people who do them are doing a fabulous job.  But ESOS scheme is a legal mechanism that misses out two very important things: 

What should you do next? 

And what organisational and cultural changes do you need to achieve your environmental goals?

This is the point where I can help you with:

  • Making your building more energy efficient
  • Sustainable transport
  • Renewable energy
  • Water saving
  • Decarbonisation action plans
  • Staff training and organisational change to decarbonise your business
  • Coaching
  • Developing low carbon products and services for the clean growth sector
  • Monitoring your achievements
  • Bid writing
  • Telling your customers about the work you are doing to make your business greener.

ESOS is a one-off, short-term intervention.  Tell me what makes your business great and we will build a long-term relationship to make it greener and more profitable.

 

 

learn more

 

If you’re a business with 11-249 employees, you don’t need an ESOS report, but if you are in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area then you could get subsidised help from me through the Clean Growth programme.

 

Energy confidence

 

 

 

 

On Air

 

Unity FM radio were kind enough to invite me on to their Connecting Communities broadcast with Mehmooda Qureshi and Dr Peter Rooke.

This broadcast will be of interest to people who are looking for expert help with energy saving in their home or business, for two reasons:

  1. In this broadcast, I talk about how I go about an energy saving plan for a building – in this case it was a faith building, but I have a similarly strategic approach to any home, business, or community building
  2. A recent client of mine, Hitesh Kukadia, the President of Shree Ram Mandir, is also on the broadcast, in which he talks about his experience of working with me.

Please click on the widget below to listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In case you’re interested, the title of this blog is a tribute to The Selecter, who were part of the soundtrack to my youth)

 

breakout meeting

Energy confidence

 

Recent research shows that only 4% of sustainability initiatives undertaken by businesses, are successful.  We need to raise the success rate because there is a hidden cost of failed initiatives.

In my experience, low carbon initiatives fail in businesses, non-profits, and public bodies because:

  • There is not a strategic approach to sustainability
  • Often, businesses don’t know where to start
  • Existing organisational culture gets in the way and prevents deep change.

 

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker was right – organisational culture eats low-carbon strategy for breakfast.

Consumers want to buy from businesses that can prove that they are ethical and sustainable.  If you work with me I will:

  • Show you where to start
  • Teach your organisation how to be strategic about sustainability, to think long-term and avoid initiative-itis
  • Advise you which actions will make a difference for your organisation, and how to measure success
  • Help you to identify and tackle organisational and cultural barriers to change
  • Save you money by avoiding the wasted time and money involved in failed and unfinished initiatives.

Tell me what makes your business great, and we’ll work together to make it greener and more profitable.

 

learn more

 

Don't move, improve

Energy confidence

 

Are you considering improvements to your home?  Home improvement is the perfect time to improve the energy efficiency of your home as well as its functionality, style and appearance.  I have teamed up with Avalon Design and between us we can design your home improvement and make sure it is as low carbon as possible.

I often go into clients’ homes and see home improvements where the architect has missed opportunities to make the home more energy efficient, or even made the home less energy efficient than it was before.  I wish they had contacted me when they started the home improvement project.  

Unfortunately some architects don’t understand how home improvements can make or break the energy efficiency of a home.  That’s why I have jumped at the chance to work with Patrick Casey at Avalon Design – he is an architect who does understand that home improvement is a chance to make a home greener.  

Imagine how great your home could be with a talented architect and an energy saving expert at your disposal.

For more information please contact me or Patrick Casey at Avalon Design.

Clean growth grants

Energy confidence

 

Consumers want to buy off businesses that are ethical and sustainable.  If you are a small business in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, then you could qualify for subsidised help with decarbonising your business.  Help is also available for your business to take advantage of clean growth opportunities.

I am one of the suppliers to the GBSLEP Clean Growth Programme.

This means you could get help from me at around 20% of what you would normally pay.  Everyone loves a bargain!  You will need to get quotes from three potential consultants in total.  

You must be an SME to qualify, with 11-249 employees, three years’ trading history, based in a non-domestic building, in the following local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest.  You must be incorporated (this includes companies limited by guarantee).  The programme funds 80% of the consultancy costs; you will need to contribute the other 20%.  

Tell me what makes your business great, and let’s work together to make it greener and more profitable.

Some of the things I can help you with include:

  • Making your building more energy efficient
  • Sustainable transport
  • Renewable energy
  • Water saving
  • Decarbonisation action plans
  • Staff training and organisational change to decarbonise your business
  • Coaching
  • Developing low carbon products and services for the clean growth sector
  • Monitoring your achievements
  • Bid writing
  • Telling your customers about the work you are doing to make your business greener.

Contact me now to see how I could help you through the Clean Growth programme.  Tell me what makes your business great, and let’s work to make it greener and more profitable!  

 

learn more

 

 

If you don’t qualify for the Clean Growth programme then I can still help you with my value for money energy saving advice packages.

 

 

 

 

TESTIMONIALS

Nathalie Rush

Nathalie Rush

Phil is truly an expert in his field. I can understand why most people around the West Midlands choose to go to Phil for energy-saving consultancy. Phil has a thorough understanding of energy conservation and sustainable living. Would highly recommend.  Nathalie Rush, MD, Six Star Insulation.

Claire Spencer

Claire Spencer

His knowledge of community-led sustainability is second to none, and his perspective on local and national issues is invaluable to us. He adds value, and is everything a good consultant should be, and I would recommend him to anyone in our field  Claire Spencer, Sustainable Moseley.

Rosemary Coyne

Rosemary Coyne

It has been hugely inspiring to work with Phil.  While others talk, Phil gets on and does it.  Rosemary Coyne, Coordinator, Sustainable Housing Action Partnership

Ray Walker

Ray Walker

In working with Phil I have been impressed by his level of knowledge and enthusiasm. He has a vast array of contacts and has brought us into contact with other stakeholder in the energy business that would have been much more difficult to achieve without him. I am also struck by his commitment to supporting communities and the most vulnerable client groups.

Ray Walker, Disability Resource Centre

Karen McCarthy

Cllr Karen McCarthy

Phil Beardmore has a long association with Localise West Midlands and is a valued associate on environmental, housing and fuel poverty projects. 

He works with us both as an individual practitioner and leading multi-disciplinary teams on larger projects, delivering high quality results on time and on budget.

 Cllr Karen McCarthy, Localise West Midlands 

MY VALUES

WHY I GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING

Canal smiling

 

 

You need impartial expert advice on energy saving in your home or business.  I don’t want you to lose opportunities to save energy because you missed out on my expertise.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY

I am one of life’s doers.  I like to work out what to do next, and then get on and do it.

If I see something that needs to change, I will say it needs changing, and I will change it if I can.

I deliver on my promises, on time and within budget.

COOPERATION OVER COMPETITION

I don’t “chase the money”.

I am not afraid to give bad news.  If I think something isn’t going to work for you, I will tell you, and suggest alternatives.  I want you to get it right.

I prefer cooperation over competition.  I want everyone to win at life.  

 

Learn more

Sign up for the Energy Confidence newsletter today.

I will send you occasional updates, you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

 

Heat pumps - FAQs

 

Are you thinking about using a heat pump to heat your home or business?

My Pay-As-You-Feel e-book will help to answer the most frequent questions that I get asked:

  • Is it true that heat pumps use less energy than a gas or oil boiler?
  • Do I need to upgrade my electricity supply?
  • Do I need to upgrade my insulation?
  • Are heat pumps noisy?
  • How long does it take a heat pump to warm up?
  • Should a heat pump be run at a low temperature?
  • Do I need secondary heating?
  • Do I need underfloor heating, or larger radiators?
  • What is the carbon footprint of a heat pump?
  • What is the life expectancy of a heat pump?
  • Can a heat pump provide enough hot water for a bath?
  • Should I have solar electricity or solar thermal with a heat pump?
  • Should I install a heat pump now, or wait?
  • What are the lifetime running costs of a heat pump?
  • What should I look for in a heat pump installer?
  • Will a heat pump work with micro-bore pipes?
  • Should I have a ground source heat pump?
  • How heat pumps work

 

Once your order has been completed you will be taken to a download page, where you will be able to download the ebook.

 

Download now

 

Now available on Kindle!  Click here to download.

I am not a fan of Amazon, as I consider their business practices to be harmful to the environment.  However I want as many people as possible to have access to impartial energy saving advice, therefore I have decided to publish the book on Amazon.  For every £1 that Amazon take in fees, I will invest £1 in cooperatively-owned renewable energy generation.

If you have already received an energy advice package from me, and you have decided you do want a heat pump, then click here to find out how I can help you understand how it will be designed to heat your home or business comfortably, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

cottage

 

The Green Homes Grant (Local Area Delivery Scheme) – also known as LADS – is here.  It provides grant funding for some measures, but how much you get and what for, varies from one local authority to another. In some local authorities it is means tested, in others it isn’t.  Also because of supply chain issues, in some areas it is behind schedule.  If you have energy saving measures through this scheme, then the scheme manager chooses the installer for you.  Unlike the previous Green Homes Grant scheme, it is operated by the local authority and the charity Act On Energy, which I think is a good move.

Act On Energy are managing the customer journey in most of the West Midlands, and you can see what is on offer in each local authority on their website – https://actonenergy.org.uk/local-authority-delivery-scheme-lads/

If you’re not in the West Midlands, then Google “Local authority delivery scheme [your local authority name]

As part of the quality assurance scheme that includes LADS, you should receive independent advice from a Retrofit Coordinator, free of charge, if you qualify for LADS.  Which means you don’t have to pay me for advice!  If however, you would still like to pay me for independent and impartial advice on saving energy in your home –  or even your business –  then I would be happy to help.  I help you to understand where to start, and how to plan for making your home or business environmentally friendly in the short, medium and long term.  

 

learn more

 

Energy confidence